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Pakistan mulls reduced working days in a week to save fuel

Islamabad, May 23 (TIWN) Amid rising oil consumption and import bill owing to higher international prices, the Pakistan government is mulling the possibility of fuel conservation through reduced working days a week, hoping to save an estimated annual foreign exchange of up to $2.7 billion.

The estimates are based on three different scenarios in terms of working days and fuel conservation prepared by the State Bank of Pakistan for foreign exchange savings of $1.5 billion to $2.7 billion, Dawn news reported.  Pakistan's total oil import during the first 10 months (July-April) of the current fiscal year (FY22) has gone beyond $17 billion, showing a massive 96 per cent growth compared to the same period last fiscal year. This includes import of petroleum products worth $8.5 billion and petroleum crude of $4.2 billion, showing 121 per cent and 75 per cent surge, respectively.  A senior government official said the relevant authorities from the power and petroleum divisions had been advised to come up with their estimates also including electricity conservation to take up the matter in a holistic manner with cost benefit analysis of various sectors before reaching a conclusion.  He said the central bank's estimation mostly covered POL (petroleum products) consumption in normal working days a week, including retail business and government offices and educational institutions, which in any case would be on summer holidays. It did not take into account LNG imports which mostly go into the power sector, reports Dawn news.

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